Where do we
begin when
studying
mythology?
Creation
myths
From around the world
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Essential Questions?
• What are the characteristics of a creation
myth?
• How do different cultures explain the
beginning?
• What are the similarities and differences in
creation myths from around the world?
• What unique cultural traits are revealed in the
creation myths?
The characteristics of creation
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Nothingness
Primal ooze
An egg
A serpent
The formation of the earth and geography
The peopling of the world
Types of ways in which the
earth was Created:
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By emergence
By sacrifice
By secretion
By thought
By word
By cosmic egg
From ancestors
From chaos
From clay
From dismemberment of primordial being
Emergence Stories
• a type of creation myth popular among
Native American tribes.
• The emergence story stresses the idea
of the Earth as a womb from which the
people emerge gradually, as in
childbirth.
• At each stage they grow in knowledge
and ability
Sacrificial Stories
• A type of creation myth popular among
Mesoamerican peoples
• Stresses bloody gore
Secretion Stories
• Type of creation myth used on occasion
in Norse legends
• Beings formed from the sweat of Ymir,
the frost god
Thought stories
• Type of creation myth used on occasion
in mayan legends
• Gods sitting around thinking about
things and they are created while that is
happening.
Spoken word stories
• Type of creation myth used on occasion
in Japanese legends
• Type of creation in bible “let there be
light…”
• Gods sitting around discussing things to
create and then creating, altering, etc.
Ancestor stories
• Type of creation myth used in bible,
greek, roman
• The world begins with two individuals
and all other humans are descendents
of these two.
Chaos stories
• Type of creation myth used in germany,
egyptian
• The world begins with a swirling chaos,
winds, fires, and from this begins life
Clay stories
• Type of creation myth used in some
african tribal stories
• The man, animals, environment can all
be created out of clay
Dismemberment stories
• Type of creation myth used in some
hindu cultures, norse, Greek
• A creature consists of everything in the
world, but not until he/she/it is
separated do they all truly exist